Both companies license Microsoft's Exchange server and use it to provide free OTA (over the air) synchronisation between Gmail Calendar and Contacts and smartphones. The concept is brilliant: make a change to the calendar or contacts on either your handset or in Gmail (including Google Apps) and these changes are reflected immediately on the other - no cables required. Yes, it's convenient but it's also a great way to securely backup your data.
So that's the history lesson and the differences between the two services have been marginal: NuevaSync supports a larger number of calendars to be synchronised and slightly more detailed contact information but now here's the killer differentiator we've been waiting for: Push Email.
While Nokia handsets have long supported this push email is woefully lacking from the Apple iPhone and isn't available to Gmail users with Windows Mobile handsets (without the £20 Emansio plug-in). Well not anymore. Push email will now be available to these mobile platforms as well as S60 Series phones and the Palm Pre while there is no sign of Google yet rolling it into Google Sync. Of course NuevaSync will also support any email service that is compatible with Push delivery.
Caveats? NeuvaSync has understandably reached its limit on 'free' so Push email will only be available to a newly launched Premium service. That said it will come in at a very reasonable $25 (£15) per year. It launches immediately.
So the bar has been lifted again. It will be interesting to see if Google responds...
NuevaSync Blog Announcement (and setup information)